Before his dementia completely took over, Granddaddy asked me to knit him a red scarf. I took up the request immediately and would sometimes knit at his side. I remember one particular night when I sat and knit on the scarf at the kitchen table with Granddaddy. In the span of a couple of hours, he told and retold stories about his mother being such a wonderful homemaker. I relished every minute. When it was time for me to leave so that my grandfather could be assisted to bed, I packed up the scarf, gave him a hug, and told him I loved him. As I walked out of the door, I heard Granddaddy say, “She’s a good girl. She’s a good girl.” I hope I never forget how that made me feel.
I finished the basketweave scarf and presented it to Granddaddy. He loved it and wore it for several winters.
I lost my dear Granddaddy in 2013. The scarf came back to me. I wear it every now and then, but I always wear it on Veterans Day in memory of Granddaddy and his military service. Whenever I have it on, I can almost feel Granddaddy watching over me–like he’s giving me a hug or has his hand on my shoulder.
It’s amazing how knitting can teach us so many lessons on life. Take it one stitch at a time. Find the good in your mistakes. Persevere. This past week, knitting reminded me that sometimes you just have to let go and move on.
That cowl I was so fondly knitting in the park?
I had it stowed in my nightstand, and I failed to push the drawer completely shut. I literally left about a 4mm crack. That was enough for my sweet, little, wool fiend of a cat, Oliver, to snag it out and destroy it. For a moment, I held the project in my hands thinking I could salvage it, but no. I might have let the anger and frustration eat me up inside, but why? I had to accept what had happened and move on. That wouldn’t be the only time I’d be forced to accept things and move on this week, but I digress.
To bring a little cheer into these days, I got started on my Christmas projects. My Mom requested that I knit a couple of cup cozies for her hair dresser. I modified a pattern from Love of Knitting magazine and whipped these up in no time.
The original pattern calls for knitting them flat and sewing up the seam. I abhor sewing seams, so I knit these on DPN’s. There are a lot of simple, free patterns for cozies. This Coffee Cup Cozy from Knitting With Karma looks nice. Karin Michele’s Holiday Cup Cozies would be a quick knit that would also provide a bit of color work practice.
I want to knit lots of Christmas presents this year. Maybe a cowl for my Mom. Perhaps a scarf for my brother. My nephew loves knitted hats, and I owe my niece a blanket. I really want to make a Smitten by Julie Weisenberger for my husband (and me!). If I’m gonna finish in time, I just gotta keep on keeping on.
One of my favorite things to do is to take my knitting outdoors. I love throwing a blanket on the ground and knitting while listening to the wind blow through the trees. While engrossed in the process of creation, I feel more atune to the world around me. I’m keenly aware of the warmth of the sun and the cool of the shade dappled on my skin. Birdsong feels like company. Time seems to stop.
Today, I was able to spend some time in Mammoth Cave National Park. My husband and I took our time walking the half-mile nature trail at Turnhole Bend. We stopped often to take in the fall colors and enjoyed the calm serenity of the forest. And I knit.
I couldn’t ask for a better day.
Since school started in August (yes, we start school in early August), I haven’t had much time for knitting. But I’ve managed to complete a few little projects. These Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins are a favorite of mine. I make several every year–changing up the yarn color and the sizes.
I’ve also made a couple of really simple cowls with sock yarn. Using my favorite size 6 16-inch circular needles, I cast on 100 stitches and knit in the round until the cowl measured about 13 inches or I ran out of sock yarn. The ends roll quite a bit, but that’s okay. They look fine all squished up on my neck and keeping me warm. I made my first one out of scraps of grayish sock yarn, and it doesn’t match at all. I just wear it around the house. The second one was made with Patons Kroy Socks in Rusty Stripes. I bought the yarn ages ago, and it doesn’t look like it’s available anymore, but I think the colors are perfect for fall.
I love working with self-striping yarn. So, I’m making another cowl with Patons Kroy Socks in the Sing ‘n the Blues Stripes colorway.
What are you knitting this fall? Whatever it is, I wish you. . .
I’ve overcome my second sock syndrome and have completed the mate to my Spring Leaf Stripes Socks! As I posted before, I had finished the first sock in May of 2015, but I never started the second one. As I was going through my stash a few weeks ago, I saw the sock and just knew it was time to get the second one done. As I knitted the mate, I couldn’t imagine why I didn’t immediately pick it up after finishing the first one. Well, as I tried on the finished pair last night, I was given a reminder. On my first sock, I had somehow miscalculated where I need to start my toe decreases. Though I was only a few stitches off, it made the first sock a little wonky on my foot. The frustration from that put me off knitting the second sock. Here’s what really interesting. The wonky first sock actually fits my left foot just fine. When it’s on my left foot, I can’t tell that there is anything wrong with the sock, but if I put the wonky sock on my right foot the mistake shows in all its glory. I’m fine with it though. The wonky sock will always be for my left foot!
I’m sure I’ll knit more socks, but not for a while. I’m ready to knit something else. However, when I do get back to socks, I want to learn the magic loop method and how to put in an afterthought heel.
Speaking of knitting something else. . .I’ve been inspired by my garden lately. I love knitting out there while enjoying the birds and flowers (credit to my sweetheart for capturing the lovely shots of the goldfinch and hummingbird).
I’d love to knit up some garden-inspired creations, like Grace Schnebly’s Myriads of Mushrooms, Lesley Stanfield’s Blue Tit, or Rebecca Danger’s Gnome Nuggets. They are too cute not to knit!
I finished knitting my Oaklet Shawl several days ago and now it is blocked, so it is officially finished! I love it and cannot wait to wear it. It’s a balmy 93 degrees F where I live, but I braved the heat and donned the shawl for an outdoor shot. Here are the photos I promised:
Lately, I’ve been knitting with yarn that just makes me happy. In fact, I’ve decided that one of the yarns is literally my favorite yarn I’ve ever knit. It’s ironic, but I was watching a new-to-me podcast the other day (Sticks+Twine with Eric Lutz–I’ll talk about this fabulous podcast in an upcoming post) and the host mentioned Patronus yarn. Or, yarn that makes you the happiest in the world. This stems from the Patronus Charm from the Harry Potter series in which one must think of the happiest thoughts in order to conjure the Patronus that protects them. My Patronus yarn is definitely the Sheep Loves Monkey yarn in the St. Petersburg, Russia, colorway. I love, love, love this colorway! It has a gray base, but is packed with every other color one could imagine and it just works! Looking at it and working with it has made me just bubbly with happiness.
I’ve been working on the Oaklet Shawl by Megan Goodacre. It’s a fantastic and well-written, free pattern that has been a joy to knit, but knitting it in my Patronus yarn has made me even more giddy to pick up the needles. I finished the shawl today, and it was a bittersweet moment. I was excited to complete the project, but sad that I wouldn’t be working with the yarn anymore. Good thing I bought a second hank!
I feel that this picture doesn’t do the yarn or the shawl justice, but I had just finished it and wanted to snap a quick photo for this post before the sun set. I’ll block the shawl tomorrow and post a finished project photo soon. I can tell that it will stretch quite a bit. I’m laughing at the photo–my husband took the shot while I was stretching the shawl out into the air–it looks like a kaleidoscopic butterfly floating away.
When I haven’t been working on my Oaklet Shawl, I’ve been working on the mate to a pair of socks I started in. . . April of 2015. . .goodness, I’m ashamed to admit that. I finished the first sock soon enough, but got second sock syndrome and am just now getting back to the mate. I’ve only knit a couple of socks and they haven’t turned out the best. For this one, I’m using a very helpful book and a pattern that reads more like a tutorial. Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks has been a great resource–it has a lot of straight-forward information with helpful illustrations. The books includes many patterns. I’ve based my sock on the 8-Stitch Per Inch pattern. I’ve also used a pattern from Winwick Mum called “Basic Socks.” I’m using US size 2 9-inch circular needles (and will switch to dpn’s when needed) and Paton’s Kroy Socks in Spring Leaf Stripes.
I love this colorway, too! You can’t go wrong with gray and yellow! Though it’s hard to tell, there’s some neon yellow and pale yellow in with that gray and black. I’m working the whole leg of the sock in a K3P1 rib. It’s nice and stretchy. Now that I’ve completed my shawl, I plan on finishing this second sock!